This Morning, while I was walking through the University Hall, a poster catched my eyes. “LehrBar” – a platform where teachers could present each other new didactic tools and designs – informs everybody interested about a talk on “LabWrite“, a wiki which was created to help students writing better laboratory protocols. Reading this raised the general question in which way Teachers, Researchers, Students, Groups and Organisations use web tools. What do I know about People, Groups and Organizations from Bielefeld University using the Web 2.0? And in which different ways do they use it? In the following, I would like to present some impressions from a short research about interactive, communicative and collaborative web tools used at Bielefeld University.
First thing to mention here is, more or less obviously, Stud.IP. Stud.IP (german short form for Studienbegleitender Internetsupport von Präsenzlehre) is an e-learning platform to support classroom teaching, which offers to it’s users the possibility to create individual or course depended timetables, to upload different content (such as lecture slides or papers), to communicate with each other via forum, chat and message service or to use collaborative tools like wikis. But how is Stud.IP used in academic practice? From my subjective view, not all teachers use Stud.IP in class and if they do, they often just use it for data storage, ignoring all further options. Nevertheless, I’m quite sure that most teachers and students at Bielefeld University know about Stud.IP.
Going beyond Stud.IP, another web service at Bielefeld University is “wikifarm”. Wikifarm is a collection of wikis to different topics, operated by the media service center (Service Center Medien, SCM). With the help of SCM any teacher or group of students is given the possibility to start their own wiki, based on PMwiki-software. “LabWrite”, the wiki presented in the beginning, is one of them. Another example is “Direkt reingeschaut … ins Labor” a wiki that presents virtual journeys to different scientific lectures and laboratories via video streams. But unlike with Stud.IP, I’m rather sceptical if many students know about wikifarm. And secondly my short research gave me the impression, that there are actually much more wikis on scientific topics or didactics than in humanities.
So what about Humanities at Bielefeld University and the web 2.0? As much as I know, “Sozusagen”, a Magazine organized by local Students from the Faculty of Sociology, runs a blog in addition to their print edition. Furthermore Uwe Walter, Professor of ancient history, is blogging for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ). His Blog, called “Antike und Abendland”, is directly linked to the FAZ Homepage. But anyway, clicking through the web pages connected to Bielefeld University gave me the impression, that there isn’t that much to say about humanities and web 2.0. Interestingly, even Uwe Walter, as could be read in an interview by Georgios Chatzoudis at L.I.S.A, would not call himself a blogger.
Now, coming to an end with this overview about my short research, I would like to pass on the question to you. What do you know about Bielefeld University and web 2.0? Are there any other users or communities using web tools? What are your impressions?